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New Web Videonovela Series Helps Spanish-Speaking Patients Compare Treatments for Diabetes

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 342

The AHRQ Electronic Newsletter is issued periodically and summarizes Agency research and programmatic activities.

May 4, 2012

Today's Headlines

  1. New Web videonovela series helps Spanish-speaking patients compare treatments for diabetes.
  2. AHRQ study shows clinical decision support systems are effective, but there is limited evidence available on impact.
  3. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange features hospital initiatives to improve the diet of low-income families.
  4. Supplemental phenylketonuria therapies may provide short-term benefit.
  5. Update of noninvasive diagnostic tests for breast abnormalities review now available.
  6. Evidence lacking on effectiveness of antipsychotics for children.
  7. AHRQ seeks comments on a proposed Children's Health Care Quality Measures Project.
  8. Register for Web conference on AHRQ Quality Indicators software for Windows® and SAS Version 4.4.
  9. AHRQ in the professional literature.

1. New Web Videonovela Series Helps Spanish-Speaking Patients Compare Treatments for Diabetes

A new three-part AHRQ Spanish-language videonovela series, Aprende a vivir (Learn to Live), features messages for diabetes patients to find a treatment regimen that works best for them. Aprende a vivir tells the story of how Don Felipe, who has type 2 diabetes, works with his family and his health care team to compare his treatment options rather than skip his medication because of side effects. The first episode is available on AHRQ's Healthcare 411 Web site; upcoming episodes will be posted in the next two weeks. The Healthcare 411 Web site showcases the Aprende a vivir series and provides links to patient education resources on comparing treatments for diabetes and other health information from AHRQ and across HHS. The materials are available in Spanish and English. Viewers of the Aprende a vivir series will also have the option of selecting captions in Spanish or English. The episodes will also be available on AHRQ's Spanish-language Facebook page. Select to read our press release.

2. AHRQ Study Shows Clinical Decision Support Systems Are Effective But There is Limited Evidence Available on Impact

Clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) are effective in improving health care process measures across diverse settings, but limited evidence is available about the impact on clinical and economic outcome measures, according to a new AHRQ study. The article, published in the April 24 online issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, furthers current knowledge by demonstrating the benefits of CDSSs outside of academic centers. Authors assessed health care process measures and clinical outcome measures associated with commercially and locally developed CDSSs and suggested more research is required to promote widespread use of CDSSs and to increase their clinical effectiveness. This article expands on an AHRQ evidence report, Enabling Health Care Decisionmaking Through Health Information Technology, which discusses features key of successful implementation of CDSSs. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

3. AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Features Hospital Initiatives to Improve the Diet of Low-Income Families

The April 25 issue of AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange profiles hospital-based programs that provided low-income families with access to healthy foods and parental support. Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital's Smart Choices for Healthy Families supported low-income parents in promoting a healthier diet and increased physical activity for the entire family. Parents and children participated in six bi-weekly, small-group discussions led by community leaders and focused on education and goal setting. Parents also received an automated phone call after each session to reinforce the discussion and promote established goals and setting new ones. In a pilot test, the program helped children reduce body mass index, achieve more muscle mass, improve their health-related quality of life, reduce screen time, and increase levels of physical activity. Select to read more profiles of innovations related to improving the diet of low-income families on AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange Web site, which contains more than 700 searchable innovations and 1,550 QualityTools.

4. Supplemental Phenylketonuria Therapies May Provide Short-Term Benefit

Lifelong dietary control is essential for effective management of phenylketonuria (PKU), an AHRQ research review confirms. PKU is a rare metabolic disorder which, if uncontrolled, leads to a toxic buildup of the amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) in the blood, resulting in intellectual disability, delayed speech, seizures, and behavioral abnormalities. A review of two supplemental therapies, sapropterin dihydrochloride (BH4) and the nutritional supplement large neutral amino acids (LNAAs), found that BH4 may be effective in reducing levels of Phe in certain individuals in the short term. Its long term impact is unknown, however. Evidence on the effectiveness of LNAAs is still lacking. These findings and future research needs are summarized in the review, Adjuvant Treatment for Phenylketonuria (PKU).

5. Update of Noninvasive Diagnostic Tests for Breast Abnormalities Review Now Available

Women undergoing noninvasive imaging tests need to have been previously identified at low risk for breast cancer for these tests to be useful for evaluating suspected breast abnormalities, according to a recent update of a 2006 AHRQ Effective Health Care Program review. In such cases, noninvasive imaging in addition to standard examination and diagnostic tests may be useful for determining treatment options. However, efficacy depends on a clinician's ability to accurately identify women's risk of breast cancer. These findings and others are summarized in the review, Noninvasive Diagnostic Tests for Breast Abnormalities: Update of a 2006 Review.

6. Evidence Lacking on Effectiveness of Antipsychotics for Children

Little evidence exists that directly compares the effectiveness or safety of first- and second-generation antipsychotics for treating psychiatric and behavioral conditions in children, adolescents, and young adults, a new AHRQ research review finds. Mental health problems affect one in every five young people at any given time, and use of antipsychotics for children and adolescents has increased during the past 20 years. Two generations of antipsychotics have been developed since antipsychotics were first used, each with potential side effects. First- and second-generation antipsychotics were generally found to be superior to placebo on symptom improvement and other efficacy outcomes. Future high-quality, head-to-head comparisons are needed to determine the relative effectiveness and safety of various antipsychotics in children, adolescents, and young adults. The research review from AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program includes a paper for researchers and research funders to help improve the comparative effectiveness evidence of these medications. Select to access the research review.

7. AHRQ Seeks Comments on a Proposed Children's Health Care Quality Measures Project

AHRQ is soliciting comments on the Agency's intent to request that the Office of Management and Budget approve a project to collect information related to children's health care quality measures. The goal of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Pediatric Quality Measures Program candidate measure submission form project is to solicit comments on a proposed template for collecting information on the reliability, validity, feasibility, understandability and other attributes of children's health care quality measures. AHRQ, in collaboration with CMS, intends to use the information provided through the standardized data collection form to support review of measures by a Subcommittee of AHRQ's National Advisory Committee on Healthcare Research and Quality. These measures will be nominated by the public or developed by the seven Centers of Excellence for potential inclusion in the CHIPRA improved core measure set or for other related purposes. Comments must be received by June 18. Select to read the April 18 Federal Register notice.

8. Register for Web Conference on AHRQ Quality Indicators Software for Windows and SAS Version 4.4

AHRQ is sponsoring a free Web conference on May 9 from 3:00-4:30 p.m., ET on AHRQ Quality Indicators software for Quality Indicators™ (QI) software for Windows (WinQI) and SAS Version 4.4 for the Prevention Quality Indicators (PQI), Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQI), Patient Safety Indicators (PSI) and Pediatric Quality Indicators (PDI) modules. The Web conference will highlight the updates to the AHRQ QIs, as well as provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions. It is open to anyone who is familiar with and uses the AHRQ QIs for internal quality improvement, research, public reporting, etc. The Webinar will include:

  • Overview of the AHRQ QIs.
  • Summary of the changes from Version 4.3 to 4.4.
  • Examples of how the AHRQ QIs can be used in practice.

All of the relevant AHRQ QI software and documentation regarding Version 4.4, such as technical specifications and SAS and WinQI software documentation, can be found on the AHRQ QI Web site. Select to register.

9. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Access to the abstracts may be blocked because of firewalls or specific settings on individual computer systems. If you are having problems, ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Feudtner C, Dai D, Hexem KR, et al. Prevalence of polypharmacy exposure among hospitalized children in the United States. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2012 Jan; 166(1):9-16. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Concannon TW, Nelson J, Goetz J, et al. A percutaneous coronary intervention lab in every hospital? Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes 2011 Dec 6. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Bleich SN, Chang HY, Lau B, et al. Impact of bariatric surgery on health care utilization and costs among patients with diabetes. Med Care 2012 Jan; 50(1):58-65. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Fehr JJ, Boulet JR, Waldrop WB, et al. Simulation-based assessment of pediatric anesthesia skills. Anesthesiology 2011 Dec; 115(6):1308-15. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Lamel S, Chambers CJ, Ratnarathorn M, et al. Impact of live interactive teledermatology on diagnosis, disease management, and clinical outcomes. Arch Dermatol 2012 Jan; 148(1):61-5. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Zhang J, Shan Y, Reed G, et al. Thresholds in disease activity for switching biologics in rheumatoid arthritis patients: experience from a large U.S. cohort. Arthritis Care Res 2011 Dec; 63(12):1672-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Fletcher JM, Richards MR. Diabetes's 'health shock' to schooling and earnings: increased dropout rates and lower wages and employment in young adults. Health Aff 2012 Jan; 31(1):27-34. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Wehbe-Janek H, Lenzmeier CR, Ogden PE, et al. Nurses' perceptions of simulation-based interprofessional training program for rapid response and Code Blue events. J Nurs Care Qual 2012 Jan-Mar; 27(1):43-50. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Sobota A, Graham DA, Neufeld EJ, et al. Thirty-day readmission rates following hospitalization for pediatric sickle cell crisis at freestanding children's hospitals: risk factors and hospital variation. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2012 Jan; 58(1):61-5. Select to access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

If you have questions about AHRQ's activities, please try to find the answers by checking our Home Page, where we have established links to various topical areas. Also check the News & Information section and Frequently Asked Questions. You may also Browse the Web Site. These features are designed to assist you in obtaining the information you are seeking.

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: New Web Videonovela Series Helps Spanish-Speaking Patients Compare Treatments for Diabetes: Electronic Newsletter, Issue 342. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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